Neophilologus

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 299–317 | Cite as

The Evidence for Maran, the Anglo-Saxon ‘Nightmares’

Article

Abstract

This article examines the Old English word mære, the etymon of nightmare, and its variants. I address a number of questions arising from our basic Old English data in order to underpin future efforts to interpret the Old English material. Four main issues are tackled. Firstly, the existence of a strong noun mær as well as the weak mære (§2). Secondly, the source and significance of the unique lemma in the gloss incuba:mære,satyrus. This was almost certainly a glossed text of Isidore’s Etymologiae in which incubi had been corrupted to incubae, a conclusion allowing us to infer with confidence precisely how the glossator understood incuba when he chose to deploy mære as a gloss (§3). Thirdly, the gendering of the beings denoted by mære, emphasising the complexity of the evidence but suggesting the probability that maran were invariably female (§4). Lastly, the meaning of the lemma and the significance of the gloss in Echo:wudumær. The long-standing interpretation of wudumær to mean ‘echo’ can be dispensed with: it implies instead the nymph Echo, a supernatural female understood to be associated with woods (and possibly seduction), and is probably a gloss-word (§5).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Christine. Alfano, The Issue of Feminine Monstrosity: A Reevaluation of Grendel’s Mother. Comitatus 23 (1992) 1-16Google Scholar
  2. Bischoff, Bernard and M. B. Parkes. “Palaeographical Commentary,” in The Épinal, Erfurt, Werden and Corpus Glossaries, ed. by Bernhard Bischoff et al. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 22. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1988.Google Scholar
  3. Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. London: Oxford University Press (1898).Google Scholar
  4. A. Campbell, Old English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1959).Google Scholar
  5. Jane. Chance, Woman as Hero in Old English Literature. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press (1986).Google Scholar
  6. John R. Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1960).Google Scholar
  7. Carol J. Clover, Warrior Maidens and other Sons. Journal of English and Germanic Philology 85 (1986) 35-49Google Scholar
  8. Carol J. Clover, Regardless of Sex: Men, Women, and Power in Early Northern Europe. Speculum 68 (1993) 363-387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Anne. Curzan, Gender Shifts in the History of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2003).Google Scholar
  10. Dictionary of the Irish Language. Compact ed. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1983.Google Scholar
  11. Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  12. Dictionary of Old English Corpus. Toronto: Dictionary of Old English, 2000. Accessed from < http://ets.umdl.umich.edu/o/oec/ >, 11-10-2004.
  13. The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems. New York: Columbia University Press (1942).Google Scholar
  14. Christine E. Fell, “Words and Women in Anglo-Saxon England”. In: Hough Carole and A. Lowe Kathryn (eds.) Lastworda Betst: Essays in Memory of Christine E. Fell with her Unpublished Writings. Donington: Tyas (2002) pp. 198-215Google Scholar
  15. Margaret. Gelling, Signposts to the Past: Place-Names and the History of England. London: Dent (1978).Google Scholar
  16. Variae collectiones aenignmatvm Merovingicae aetatis (pars altera). Turnbolt: Brepols (1968).Google Scholar
  17. Corpus glossariorum latinorum a Gustavo Loewe incohatum auspiciis academiae litterarum saxonicae.. Lipsia: Tevbnerus (1888–1923).Google Scholar
  18. Jacob. Grimm, Teutonic Mythology.. London: Bell (1882–1888).Google Scholar
  19. Grundy, G. B. “The Saxon Land Charters of Hampshire with Notes on Place and Field Names, 4th Series.” Archaeological Journal 84 (2nd series 34) (1927): 160–340.Google Scholar
  20. Hall, Alaric Timothy Peter. “The Meanings of Elf and Elves in Medieval England.” Ph.D. diss. University of Glasgow, 2004. Accessed from < http://www.alarichall.org.uk >, 9-6-2-2005.
  21. Henry. Hessels John, A Late Eighth-Century Latin Anglo-Saxon Glossary Preserved in the Library of the Leiden University (MS VOSS. Q° LAT. N°. 69). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1906).Google Scholar
  22. Richard M. Hogg, A Grammar of Old English, Volume 1: Phonology. Oxford: Blackwell (1992).Google Scholar
  23. S. Hieronymi presbyteri opera, pars I. Turnhout: Brepols (1969).Google Scholar
  24. Kelly, S. E. The Electronic Sawyer: An Online Version of the Revised Edition of Sawyer’s ‘Anglo-Saxon Charters’ Section One [S 1–1602]. British Academy/Royal Historical Society Joint Committee on Anglo-Saxon Charters: < http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/chartwww/eSawyer.99/eSawyer2.html >, accessed 2-8-2005.
  25. N. R Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1957).Google Scholar
  26. K. S Kiernan, Grendel’s Heroic Mother. In Geardagum 6 (1984) 13-33Google Scholar
  27. Nicolas K. Kiessling, Grendel: A New Aspect. Modern Philology 65 (1968) 191-201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kitllick Wolfgang. Die Glossen der Hs. British Library, Cotton Cleopatra A. III: Phonologie, Morphologie, Wortgeographie. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1998. Europäische Hochschulschriften: Reihe XIV, Angelsächsische Sprache und Literatur 347Google Scholar
  29. Fr. Klaeber, Beowulf.. Boston: Heath (1950).Google Scholar
  30. Lapidge, Michael. “An Isidorian Epitome from Early Anglo-Saxon England,” in Anglo-Latin Literature 600–899. London: Hambledon Press, 1996, pp. 183–223; originally published in Romanobarbarica 10 (1988–89): 443–483.Google Scholar
  31. Lapidge, Michael. “The School of Theodore and Hadrian,” in Anglo-Latin Literature 600–899. London: Hambledon Press, 1996, pp. 141–168; originally published in Anglo-Saxon England 15 (1986): 45–72Google Scholar
  32. C. Lecouteux, Mara–Ephialtes–Incubus: Le couchemar chez les peuples germaniques. Études germaniques 42 (1987) 1-24Google Scholar
  33. Patrizia. Lendinara, “I Liber Monstrorum e i glossari anglosassoni”. In: Cipolla Adele (ed.) L'immaginario nelle letterature germaniche del medioevo.. Milan: FrancoAngeli (1995) pp. 203-225Google Scholar
  34. Isidori Hispalensis Episcopi: Etymologiarum sive Originum.. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1911).Google Scholar
  35. The Corpus Glossary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1921a).Google Scholar
  36. Lindsay, W. M. The Corpus, Épinal, Erfurt and Leyden Glossaries. London: Oxford University Press, 1921b; Publications of the Philological Society 8. repr., with index to lemmata in Wallace Martin Lindsay. Studies in Early Mediaeval Latin Glossaries. ed. Michael Lapidge, Aldershot: Variorum, 1996, ch. 11.Google Scholar
  37. van der Lugt, Maaike. “The Incubus in Scholastic Debate: Medicine, Theology and Popular Belief,” in Religion and Medicine in the Middle Ages. Eds. Peter Biller and Joseph Ziegler. Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2001, pp. 175–200. York Studies in Medieval Theology 3Google Scholar
  38. Old English Glosses: A Collection. London: Oxford University Press (1945).Google Scholar
  39. The Old English Prudentius Glosses at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Stanford: Stanford University Press (1959).Google Scholar
  40. Middle English Dictionary. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1952–2001. Accessed from < http://ets.umdl.edu/m/mec/ >, 11-11-2004.
  41. Miller, Frank Justus (ed. and trans.). Ovid: Metamorphoses. 3rd rev. ed. G. P. Gould, 2 vols. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1984. The Loeb Classical Library 42–43.Google Scholar
  42. Old English Glosses, Chiefly Unpublished. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1900).Google Scholar
  43. Jennifer. Neville, Representations of the Natural World in Old English Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1999).Google Scholar
  44. Robert T. Oliphant, The Harley Latin-Old English Glossary Edited from British Museum MS Harley 3376. The Hague: Mouton (1966).Google Scholar
  45. Andy. Orchard, The Poetic Art of Aldhehm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1994).Google Scholar
  46. Andy. Orchard, Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the ‘Beowulf’-Manuscript. Cambridge: Brewer (1995).Google Scholar
  47. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. Accessed from < http://dictionary.oed.com/ >, 28-10-2004.
  48. Patrologiae cursus cornpletus. Series Latina. Paris, 1844–64.Google Scholar
  49. Patrologia Latina Database. Accessed from < http://pld.chadwyck.co.uk/ >, 11-11-2004.
  50. J. D Pheifer, Old English Glosses in the Épinal-Erfurt Glossary. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1974).Google Scholar
  51. J. D Pheifer, Early Anglo-Saxon Glossaries and the School of Canterbury. Anglo-Saxon England 16 (1987) 17-44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Platzer, Hans.‘ “No Sex Please, We’re Anglo-Saxon?”: On Grammatical Gender in Old English.” VIEW 10.1 (2001): 34–47, Accessed from < http://www.univie.ac.at/Anglistik/ang_new/online_papers/views/archive.htm >, 10-6-2005.
  53. Julius. Pokorny, Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch.. Bern: Francke (1959).Google Scholar
  54. Catharina. Raudvere, Föreställningar om maran i nordisk folktro. Lund: Religionshistoriska Avdelningen, Lunds Universitet (1993).Google Scholar
  55. Mats. Redin, Studies on Uncompounded Personal Names in Old English. Uppsala: Berling (1919).Google Scholar
  56. Roberts, Jane and Christian Kay, with Lynne Grundy. A Thesaurus of Old English in Two Volumes. 2nd rev. impression. Costerus New Series 131–132. 2 vols. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000. Accessed from < http://libra.englang.arts.gla.ac.uk/oethesaurus/ >, 9-6-2005.
  57. Rusche, Philip Guthrie (ed.). “The Cleopatra Glossaries: An Edition with Commentary on the Glosses and their Sources.” PhD. diss. Yale University, 1996.Google Scholar
  58. William George. Searle, Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum: A List of Anglo-Saxon Proper Names from the Time of Beda to that of King John. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1897).Google Scholar
  59. Steinmeyer, Elias von and Eduard Sievers (eds.). Die althochdeutschen Glossen. 5 vols. Berlin: Weidmann, 1879–1922.Google Scholar
  60. Keith P. Taylor, Beowulf 1259a: The Inherent Nobility of Grendel’s Mother. English Language Notes 31 (1993-94) 13-25Google Scholar
  61. Mary Kay. Temple, Beowulf 1258–1266: Grendel’s Lady-Mother. English Language Notes 23 (1985-86) 10-15Google Scholar
  62. Thesaurus lingae Latinae. [n. pub.]: Lipsiae, 1900.Google Scholar
  63. Jan de. Vries, Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Leiden: Brill (1961).Google Scholar
  64. Weber, Robert (ed.). Biblia Sacra: Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem 2nd rev vols. Stuttgart: Württembergische Bibelanstalt, 1975. 2nd rev. ed Google Scholar
  65. Bald’s Leechbook: British Museum, Royal Manuscript 12 D. xvii. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger (1955).Google Scholar
  66. Wright, Thomas (ed.). Anglo-Saxon and Old English Vocabularies. 2nd ed. Richard Paul Wülker. 2 vols. London: Trübner, 1884.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helsinki Collegium for Advanced StudiesUniversity of Helsinki HelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations